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The economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to grow by 2 per cent in 2018, up from 0.7 per cent in 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday.

The economy is expected to expand by a further to 2.3 per cent in 2019, the Washington-based institution, further said, even as it said SVG continues to face challenges in sustaining the growth momentum over the longer-term.

The projected growth is driven by increases in tourist arrivals, tourism-related activities (including investment in hotels and resorts), and related local production, the IMF said on Wednesday after its annual Article IV consultation.

“Beyond 2020, growth would be sustained at around 2.3 percent, assuming steady tourism and investment growth,” the IMF said.

It said the outlook is subject to both external and domestic risks.

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“External risks include weaker-than-expected global growth, tighter global financial conditions, and higher oil prices.

“Domestic risks include more severe and frequent natural disasters and the loss of correspondent banking relationships.

“There is also upside potential stemming from stronger-than-expected tourist arrivals, investor interest, concessional financing for capital projects, and the successful completion of the geothermal power plant.”

The IMF said the closure — since December 2016 — of Buccament Bay Resort — the largest hotel on St. Vincent and heavy rains with flooding and landslides slowed down growth in the second half of 2016 and early 2017.

The government recently announced that it has reached a deal with local and foreign investors to take over and manage the hotel, signally that it should reopen by next year.

“Following the opening of the new airport, however, tourist arrivals have recovered, boosting tourism-related services (such as hotels, restaurants, and retail),” the IMF said, referring to Argyle International Airport, which began operating in February 2017.

“Increased demand for reconstruction materials from Dominica (struck by Hurricane Maria in September 2017) also helped the recovery.

“As a result, quarterly data show that output growth (year-on-year) has turned positive since the third quarter of 2017. Over the past year, inflation has remained around 2-3 percent.

SVG, nonetheless, continues to face challenges in sustaining the growth momentum over the longer-term.

“Like other Caribbean economies, its high exposure to natural disasters, a narrow production and exports base, and limited physical and human capital constrain potential growth. The mission focused on policies to achieve stronger and sustainable growth, build fiscal buffers, bolster resilience to natural disasters, and ensure financial stability,” the IMF said.

13 replies on “SVG’s economy expected to grow 2% in 2018 — IMF”

  1. I do not know why the IMF bothers announcing these predictions, they are not correct even half the time. Sometimes they are even way off. No one can accurately predict the future or the future activities of any nation or its leaders or the Global Marketplace.
    These predictions are totally meaningless.

    1. Did you even read the report? Our economy needs to grow at about 5-6% at least so as to create sustainable employment and lift the standard of living of the majority of its citizens. Are we there yet? Have we been there for the past decade? Are we expected to be there next year?

      1. Don’t worry with this ULP hack. If the IMF said our economy is expected to decline by two percent, he would either say this is inaccurate (even though the government supplies all the figures) or that a two percent decline is better than a four percent decline.

        When people are brainwashed or bought off, nothing can change their biases.

  2. As we all should know by now, the IMF does no independent research of its own but relies entirely on data supplied by the government which it analyses, interprets, and critiques as it sees fit.

    In short, most of these projections are government estimates that receive a stamp of approval from the IMF.

    Overall, our economy has shown little comparative growth (i.e., compared to many of our Caribbean neighbours and most developed countries) for many years.

    This is not the fault of this government or any government for that matter. It simply reflects the low potential our country has for growth based on its limited resources.

    1. I disagree in part: You are right that at present our potential is very low based mainly on our stupidity. We are stupid primarily because our leadership is stupid or selfish and does nothing to encourage an environment where things can improve. Yes, the challenge is great because most of the Caribbean has perpetually very stupid leaders. It is also true that the USA has very stupid leaders, possibly more stupid than ours. What they have going for them is that they have done things in the past that have helped them develop, and had better financial policy and were able to harness thier resources, along with a better attitude, such as work ethic.
      I believe that it is possible for things to get much better in SVG but first we have to get leadership that cares about the country and people instead of the self-serving leadership we have now. If so many Vincentians continue to allow themselves to be deceived with lies and un kept promises, such as thousands of jobs and vast road repairs, as well as “bountiful” programs for the youth, we will continue to get poorer, in spite of these FAKE statistics we constantly get from the IMF.
      I am surprised that the IMF admits (in thier report but not in this article) that our very unfair Concessionary System and heavy taxes are a factor keeping us poor. They mention that Dominica has received a lot of building supplies from us but they do not mention that our increase in tourists are because the Hurricane destroyed so much of the tourist infrastructure of neighboring islands. Therefore I project a DECREASE in tourism this year and an even bigger decrease next year.

  3. You are quite right David the IMF does no independent research of its own but relies entirely on data supplied by the government.

    Ralph Gonsalves has told us on more than one occasion that he “remains to do the work of Maurice Bishop.”

    Bishop was the Grenadian Marxist monster who came to power by revolution in 1979. Gonsalves brags that he helped Bishop by being there in Grenada riding in his car and writing his speeches.

    One of the things that Bishop is proven to have done, which is certified historical fact. He had two sets of accounts one rigged set to commit fraud against the IMF. Supplied figures that were false and incorrect.

    This is all fact and can be found elsewhere on the web.

    So what part of Bishops work is Gonsalves referring to?

  4. As usual dumbbell C.ben David, fabricator and Mr doom and gloom. All the garage written regarding our tourism product, we’ve seen the opposite thus far. These naysayers had a field day regarding 46% high unemployment amongst the youths put forward by the IMF in it’s last report. The said experts are back assessing the economic performance within the last year etc, they’ve published the findings on Wednesday and the Outlook is positive, the mouthpieces upset. What ah bunch of haters, envy and jealousy takes up permanent residency within their hearts. SVG future is bright with the help of the Most High God. We are a resilient nation!

  5. Remembering that remark by Aristotle (384 BCE – 322 BCE): “One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly, one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.”

    But however, if the IMF say otherwise, then the sun has finally put his hat on. Like Venezuela we shall be basking in glorious wealth come 2019, much better yet than as we are now doing in 2018. Hip hip hooray! The sun will be putting his hat on and will be coming out to play! Hip hip hooray!

  6. Utter nonsense Roberson. The Caribbean is no stranger to natural disaster. They’ve been around for centuries. SVG tourism statistics 2005-96 / 2010-72 / 2014-71 / 2015-75 / 2016-79. These figures represent arrivals by air. Roberson, what roll Dominica play regards these stats? Ah bunch of So-called lightweight, full of hot air. Kudos to Mr Beache and his hard working team, along with our overseas offices for a remarkable job. Not forgetting Mr Deron Grant, playing a vital roll regards marketing in the Middle East. Keep up the good work team!

  7. Thank you Jolly Green for the information especially the clip on Bishop. These here are the results of Mr Bishop’s Utopian Marxist policies on the Venezuelans just as the same will be having on us when the Marxist here gets rid of all resistance to their takeover. Note:

    “More than a million Venezuelans have been living in Colombia, taking a heavy toll on its public services in border regions.”

    Hopeless utopian dreamers like Karl Marx himself, whose useless philosophy is totally devoid of all reality!

    These so-called Marxist are good at talking the talk but can never walk the walk when called upon to deliver. However they are equally very good at keeping one hand in the country’s treasury while the people go without because of their folly.

    “A court in the United States has sentenced the former head of Venezuela’s treasury, Alejandro Andrade, to 10 years in prison for money laundering. Andrade, 54, had pleaded guilty to taking $1bn in bribes in exchange for offering access to preferential foreign currency exchange rates.”

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